View Full Version : Fret wire nibbler

10-06-2016, 05:09 AM
Here's my take on a fret wire nibbler for bound fret boards. I didn't have the nibbler tool, but I did have the dremel and the stewmac base. I use a piece of acrylic with a hole bored into it and a slot to take the fret wire. I clamp the dremel upside down in the vise with the cut off wheel just flush with the acrylic. Frets are rough cut to size and marked with a fine point sharpie where to nibble to. Then the fret is slid along the slot and tipped up in one quick motion to trim and cut off the base of the fret. I dunk in a cup of water quickly because it gets hot, then do the other end.


10-06-2016, 05:26 AM
nice Idea.

I've also see another method of making a groove in something solid (wood, plastic, whatever) and putting the fretwire upside down into the groove. Then taking a file and filing it down until level with the top of the jig. Your method requires less elbow grease though :)

10-06-2016, 07:09 AM
I remember seeing this method before on this forum about 6 years ago..See here http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?25653-Filing-Fret-Tangs&highlight=fretwire

10-06-2016, 08:56 AM
Great idea. Have you tried it with radiused frets?

10-06-2016, 09:09 AM
Well I wonder if I saw Chuck's post and forgot about it? Entirely possible. Please forgive the theft, if I did.

Have not tried it on radiused frets. Seems like it might work with a radiused platen. Is the radius usually consistent on all radiused frets, or does it change as they move down the board?


10-06-2016, 06:11 PM
Nice. But maybe a little overkill on the jig front? I just clamp the dremel vertical into a vise and saw off the tang and grind down while holding it. About 5 seconds. And yes, water to cool is a good idea. Overheat and you get that rainbow color effect which ruins the fret. A steady hand and good eyesight helps. Wear safety glasses that completely encase your eyes even if you wear glasses! Little bits of incredibly sharp white hot pieces of metal will fly. I once had a tiny piece hit my forehead and ricochet off the insides of my glasses and land (thankfully) on my eyelid where it embedded, sizzled and caused a small brand. What it would have done if it hit my cornea does not even bear thinking about... Oh and also, these little sharp bits can hide on your bench and get one under a piece of wood you are thinning and it can cause all sorts of damage. Been there. Vacuum and clean everywhere after fret de-tanging. The bits tend to hide. You will save your self a world or work later.